Is Indie Rock Stoner Music?

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


Many people ask me “is indie rock stoner music?” The answer is yes and no. It really depends on the artist and the song.

Defining “stoner music”

The term “stoner music” is often used to describe a genre or subculture of music, but what does that actually mean? In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of the term and some of the most popular stoner music artists.

Characteristics of stoner music

Stoner music is a subgenre of rock that typically features slow tempos, heavy guitars, and psychedelic or vintage vibes. The genre is often linked to cannabis culture, as reefer-friendly artists often sing about the drug’s effects.

The term “stoner rock” was reportedly coined by music journalist William Dupont in the early 1990s. He used it to describe the sounds of bands like Kyuss and Sleep, who blended elements of heavy metal, punk rock, and doom metal. Dupont’s article helped bring attention to the growing subgenre, and by the end of the decade, “stoner rock” had become a household name.

Today, stoner music has evolved into a global phenomenon, with bands like Electric Wizard, Bongzilla, and Monster Magnet carrying the torch for weed-loving musicians everywhere.

The history of stoner music

Stoner music is a genre of rock that emerged in the early 1990s. It is characterized by slow, heavy, and sludgy riffs, and often features themes of weed smoking and drug use. The genre is named after the 1970 album Stoner Witch by the band Monster Magnet.

Early examples of stoner music

Although the term “stoner music” didn’t come into existence until the early 1990s, there are many examples of songs and bands that can be seen as precursors to the genre. One of the earliest examples is the song “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Marvin Gaye, which was released in 1968. The lyrics of the song contain images of drug use, including the line “I got a thing about you that I can’t explain.”

Other early examples of stoner music include the songs “Can You Get to That” by Funkadelic (1971), “Mr. Brownstone” by Guns N’ Roses (1987), and “Metal Health (Bang Your Head)” by Quiet Riot (1983). These songs all contain references to drug use, and they also have a slow, heavy sound that is characteristic of stoner music.

The first band that can be considered truly proto-stoner is Kyuss, who were active from 1987 to 1995. Kyuss was a desert rock band from Palm Springs, California, and their sound was defined by heavy guitars and slow tempos. They were an influential band in the development of stoner rock and metal, and they helped to create a template for what would become known as stoner music.

The rise of stoner rock in the 1990s

Stoner rock is a musical genre characterized by slow tempos, heavy guitars, and a “stoned” or “reverberating” sound. The genre emerged during the early 1990s and was led by American bands such as Kyuss and Sleep. Other influential bands included British group Monster Magnet and Australian band Wolfmother.

Stoner rock is typically heavy and slow-paced, with riffs that are often detuned or down-tuned. The lyrics often deal with cannabis culture, drug use, and spirituality. The genre is closely related to doom metal and sludge metal, and shares many features with drone music and desert rock.

Stoner rock reached the height of its popularity in the 1990s, with pioneers Kyuss achieving mainstream success with their 1994 album Welcome to Sky Valley. However, the genre experienced a decline in the 2000s, as many of the leading bands disbanded or reverted to other styles of music. In the 2010s, stoner rock experienced something of a resurgence, with new bands such as interpreters such as Ghost B.C., Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats,and Windhand gaining popularity.

The 2000s and beyond

The 2000s saw a resurgence in popularity for stoner rock and metal, with bands such as Queens of the Stone Age, Kylesa, and Witchcraft enjoying mainstream success. The 2010s have continued this trend, with bands like Sleep, Electric Wizard, and Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats finding an audience both within and outside of the metal community.

Indie rock and stoner music

Does Indie Rock music make you want to smoke weed? It might if you’re listening to the right band. Some people might not think that Indie Rock and stoner music go hand-in-hand, but there are definitely some bands out there that would make any stoner head-nod in agreement. So what is it about Indie Rock that makes it stoner music?

Early examples of indie rock stoner music

The earliest examples of what could be described as indie rock stoner music can be found in the work of American bands such as Dinosaur Jr., Sonic Youth, and Pixies. These bands took the heavy sound of bands like Black Sabbath and made it their own by adding elements of punk rock and 1960s psychedelia.

In Britain, the Jesus and Mary Chain were one of the first bands to fuse indie pop with heavy metal, creating a sound that would go on to influence many subsequent bands. The shoegazing movement of the late 1980s and early 1990s also had a significant impact on the development of stoner rock, with groups like My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive creating dreamlike soundscapes that were indebted to both psychedelia and metal.

In America, the early 1990s saw the rise of a number of influential stoner rock bands, including Kyuss, Sleep, and Monster Magnet. These groups took the heaviness of metal and combined it with elements of psychedelic rock, resulting in a sound that was both head-noddingly heavy and hypnotically psychedelic.

The 2010s and beyond

The 2010s saw a renewed interest in retrospectives and re-assessments of the 1990s and 2000s, with several music publications declaring the 2010s to be a “retro decade”. In 2013, NME declared that “indie rock is back” after a decade of dormancy. In 2013 and 2014, mainstream attention was given to the genre with performances by indie rock acts on popular late-night talk shows such as Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Conan, The Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. In 2014, Spin named ” indie rock” its genre of the year.

Similar Posts